Firm Profile > Sparke Helmore Lawyers > Sydney, Australia

Sparke Helmore Lawyers

Australia > Insurance Tier 3

Focusing on contentious and non-contentious insurance issues, Sparke Helmore Lawyers acts for large insurers, corporate clients, government agencies, brokers, agents, and claims administrators. The team is increasingly involved in cross-border work as a result of strengthening its international offering by joining the network Global Insurance Law Connect. Other areas showing a recent uptick in instructions are medical negligence, healthcare, and cyber insurance. Sydney-based Chris Wood heads the wider national commercial insurance group and is based in Sydney, where third party liability specialist Gillian Davidson is also a key contact. In Melbourne, James Johnson leads the national statutory lines practice.

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The team is determined to get the best for their clients, combining sound legal advice with outstanding commercial and practical outcomes, and doing so whilst maintaining good professional relationships with colleagues, staff, and clients.

The individuals at Sparke Helmore that I work with are professional, kind, considerate, and hardworking.

Key clients

Arthur J Gallagher

Sydney Adventist Hospital



PDS Group

Underwriters at Interest c/- Proclaim Management


NSW Police Force, Torts and Compensation Law

Allianz Australia Insurance

Australia > Intellectual property Tier 4

The team at Sparke Helmore Lawyers handles a wide range of contentious and non-contentious IP work for Australia-based companies, government departments, and local authorities, but stands out in particular for its experience of brand protection for foreign clients doing business in Australia. Recognised for her ‘comprehensive, clear and remarkably spot-on advice’, Sydney-based Shannon Platt heads up the practice group; she assisted Crocs, Inc with the registration of a shape trade mark in Australia, and also represented a US-based bridal gown manufacturer in a trade mark infringement claim and in a separate unauthorised domain name dispute.

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Sparke Helmore provides high-quality, strategic advice.

Shannon Platt has been practising in the IP field for many years, she instinctively understands our commercial objectives and her advice is always comprehensive, clear, and remarkably spot-on.

Key clients

Allnex Resins Australia Pty / Allnex Netherlands B.V.

APT Advanced Polymer Technology

Coal Services

Community First Credit Union

Craveable Brands

Crocs, Inc


Electrolux Home Products

Greencross / Petbarn / Animates

Industrial Galvanizers Pty

Lidl Stiftung & Co. KG

Liquor Marketing Group

Maggie Sottero Designs, LLC

Merck KGaA

Council of the City of Shellharbour

Yarra Valley Water Corporation

Liverpool City Council

Parramatta City Council

Millennium & Copthorne International

University of Technology Sydney

Take 3

James Cumming & Sons Pty

Tomkins Commercial & Industrial Builders Pty

Bentleys Australia Pty

Wander Group Holdings Pty

Grant Bloodstock Pty

Tsingtao Brewery Company

Goodlife Operations Pty

Ricoh Company

Australia’s Oy

We’ve come a long way since our doors first opened in the Hunter in 1882. We’ve had an office in Sydney since the ‘60s and we recently opened our ninth office in Darwin. We cover five key areas of law – Corporate & Commercial, Commercial Insurance, Government, Statutory Lines of Insurance and Workplace – with more than 30 specialised areas of expertise. We’re a truly national, full service and proudly Australian firm that delivers results through deep collaboration with our clients. Wherever our clients need us, that’s where we’ll be. Covering a big country needs a big team—we’re more than 950 people now and still growing. And in true Australian spirit, we’re friendly, approachable and easy to work with. And when you work with one of us, you get the expertise of all of us.

Corporate & Commercial

Commercial acumen is really what we’re all about. Our corporate lawyers have worked in top tier Australian and global firms, as well as in industry, and have advised on some iconic corporate deals. That’s one of the reasons institutions, large corporates, SMEs and governments trust us. They know we focus our knowledge and skills to bring them practical advice that supports their strategies and objectives. Corporate and commercial legal issues don’t occur in isolation—so we don’t operate that way, either. When you work with our team, you work with all of Sparke Helmore. Under our roof, everything from construction to commercial litigation, mining to M&A, and insurance to workplace is covered.

Commercial Insurance

More than half the lawyers in our firm live and breathe insurance. We defend claims and interpret policies across all product lines for more than 300 clients, including Australia’s largest insurers. Our practice is global and includes the London Market and Lloyd’s syndicates as well as global insurers. We act for some of Australia’s largest companies in relation to their retained risk. We also advise all levels of government on their commercial risk. Our clients extend to insurance broking industry and third party claims administrators. We are proud to be a member of Global Insurance Law Connect (GILC) as the sole Australian representative firm.


Economic, demographic and social changes mean the business of government has never been more challenging. As people who used to work in government agencies, our national team is proud to support the important work of public servants as they shape the policies that change people’s lives. We understand government work—the time pressures, policy priorities and legislative constraints. It’s why we’re one of the three largest private legal services providers to the Commonwealth Government. We bring commercial, administrative law and dispute resolution expertise to help with complex, sensitive and high profile programs. Our advice provides policy makers with commercial and practical solutions for improving program management and policy outcomes.

Insurance Statutory Lines

If we know one thing for certain, it’s that the only constant is change. But when our already complex State and Commonwealth statutory regimes keep changing, it’s a perpetual compliance challenge for insurers and employers. We cover every Australian jurisdiction, defending statutory and common law actions across countless industries. We advise on claims resulting from stress, psychiatric illness, dust/asbestos disease, chemical toxicity and acoustic injury, fatal accident and dependency claims, and even claims involving catastrophic injury. Beyond individual claims, we look at the bigger picture—broader portfolio and claims management issues, including long tail claims. Insurers talk to us about maintaining their self-insurance licenses as well.


Leaders need to spend their time leading and managers need to be effectively managing. Employment conflicts and safety issues can hugely impact time and resources, not to mention productivity and morale. Our team is highly regarded and respected for being the safe pair of hands organisations need to resolve workplace issues as quickly and seamlessly as possible. Our employment and safety experts advise executives, managers, government decision-makers and their organisations on small matters before they become big ones, and big matters before they become headlines. We provide common sense advice that deals with the root of the problem and deliver workable solutions. Collectively, our experience spans multiple industries and includes work with federal, state and local government and leading corporates.

Department Name Email Telephone
Partner and Commercial Insurance National Practice Group Leader Malcolm Cameron +61293733555
Partner and Statutory Line Insurance National Practice Group Leader James Johnston +61293733555
Partner and Corporate & Commercial National Practice Group Leader Shannon Platt +61293733555
Partner and Government National Practice Group Leader Stuart Marris +61293733555
Partner and Workplace National Practice Group Leader Catherine Wilkinson +61293733555
Photo Name Position Profile
Mr Dalvin Chien photo Mr Dalvin Chien Dalvin is a Partner and head of the Information Technology team.
 Nick Christiansen  photo Nick Christiansen Partner, specialising in Commercial Litigation, Insolvency & Restructuring and Regulatory & Investigations
 John Coorey  photo John Coorey Partner, focusing on professional indemnity, D&O liability and commercial litigation.
 Gillian Davidson  photo Gillian Davidson Partner, National Head of Liability, Personal Injury, Property, Product, Subrogated Recoveries, Royal…
 Mark Doepel  photo Mark Doepel Partner, focusing on professional indemnity, directors’ and officers’ claims, class actions, financial…
 Andrew Johnston  photo Andrew Johnston Andrew is a Partner specialising in Banking and Finance
 Scott McDonald  photo Scott McDonald Partner, specialising in Commercial Litigation
 Grant Parker  photo Grant Parker Partner specialising in contractual and advisory services on construction and infrastructure projects.
 Shannon Platt  photo Shannon Platt Partner, specialising in Intellectual Property & Technology and Sports & Entertainment Law
 Chris Wood  photo Chris Wood Partner, focusing on advice and dispute resolution in defence of liability claims,…
Partners : 87
Lawyers (Special Counsel, Senior Associates, Associates and Lawyers) : More than 370
Other staff : More than 470
Chinese (Mandarin and Cantonese)
Australia and New Zealand Institute of Insurance and Finance (ANZIIF)
Asia Pacific Loan Market Association
AMPLA Limited – the Resources and Energy Law Association
International Trade Mark Association (INTA)
Society of Construction Law